The 2022 TotalEnergies AFCON U20 Egypt 2023 | COSAFA Qualifier is to be staged in Eswatini from October 6-16 as the top young talent in the region gathers to showcase their potential and book their place at the continental finals in Egypt next year.
The competition could not be staged in 2021 due to the COVID-19 Omicron variant, but here are some numbers around a tournament that has a rich 39-year history in various guises.
0 – The only final to finish goalless was in 2001 when Zambia needed a penalty shoot-out to beat Angola 5-3 on spot-kicks. The only other final to go to a shoot-out was in 2018 when South Africa defeated Zimbabwe 4-3 after a 1-1 draw.
1 – Mozambique were the top side in 2020 as they defeated Namibia 1-0 in the final to claim a first ever COSAFA title in any age-group. With no competition in 2021 due to the Omicron, they are still the defending champions!
2 – The highest finish for any guest nation was the silver medal Kenya won in 2013 when they lost 2-0 to South Africa in the final.
3 – Angola lost three finals in a row between 2000 and 2002. They made the deciding match in 2011 but lost once more. They have yet to win the regional title.
3 – This will be the third time Eswatini has hosted the competition after also doing so in 1985 and 1993.
4 –Zambia have won four of the last eight COSAFA Men’s Under-20 Championships played, with South Africa breaking their run in 2013, 2017 and 2018, and Mozambique in 2020.
4 – Zambia hold the record for the most title wins in a row, four, in the championships that were played between 1993 and 1999.
5 – Only five nations have won the COSAFA Under-20 Championships – Zambia (11 times), South Africa (8), Zimbabwe (6), Madagascar (1) and Mozambique (1).
7 – The most goals scored in a game in the 2020 COSAFA Men’s Under-20 Championship as South Africa defeated Lesotho 7-0.
9 – Angola’s Ambrosini Salvador finished top-scorer at the 2019 COSAFA Men’s Under-20 Championships with six goals, and then joint top-scorer in 2020 with a further three. He has nine goals in the last two editions.
9 – The greatest number of goals scored in a single final – South Africa defeated Zambia 5-4 in 2004!
11 – The number of titles won by Zambia, the most successful nation in the history of the COSAFA Under-20 Championships.
11 – The number of years in a row that South Africa hosted the event between 1999 and 2009.
12 – The number of teams that are scheduled to compete in this year’s Championships – Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, and Zambia.
40 – The number of goals scored at the 2020 COSAFA Men’s Under-20 Championships in 19 games, a little over two per match.
1983 – The first time a regional competition was staged for junior teams. It was won by Zambia.
2000 – The first time a nation other than Zambia or Zimbabwe lifted the trophy – South Africa claimed the prize in 2000.
2005 – Madagascar became just the fourth country to lift the trophy after Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.
2023 – This year’s Championship will serve as a zonal qualifier for the 2023 CAF Africa Cup of Nations, with the two finalists in the competition booking their place at the continental showpiece event.